A request for the tax identification number and passport information upon the postal receipt violates the rights of citizens to personal data protection
On September 7, the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Finance, Tax, and Customs Policy met to consider amendments to the Customs Code of Ukraine regarding the taxation of customs duties on goods sent by international postal shipments, international express shipments, and the procedure of their declaration.
During the Committee’s meeting, the MP Nina Yuzhanina suggest revising the decision of the Committee of February 25, 2021, on the previously rejected proposal №71 amending part seven of Article 236 of the Customs Code of Ukraine. Thus, it implies adding the phrase “namely the EDRPOU Code (for companies – recipients of shipments) or the taxpayer’s registration number (for citizens – recipients of shipments) or the passport number and series, (for citizens-recipients of shipments who due to their religious beliefs refuse to accept the registration number of the taxpayer’s account card and have a relevant mark in the passport made by the supervisory authority) after the phrase “the person receiving the shipment”.
This proposal stipulates that for all postal and express shipments there should be the tax identification or passport number entered in the register upon delivery of each imported parcel. Delivery companies will have to transfer all this data to the customs service. In fact, this makes it impossible to deliver the parcel with the use of modern technologies such as automated parcel terminals or subscriber boxes. This norm paralyzes the usual work of companies, while the industry employs more than 120 thousand people. Besides, in most cases, the international internet service providers will have to pull out their development programs, as the risk of refusing to receive parcels, which is estimated at up to 30%, will become real. To better understand the scale of possible losses, it should be noted that last year Ukrainians ordered more than 60 million parcels for shipment.
Also, it is worth mentioning that a similar amendment has been proposed before and it raised objections in the Customs Subcommittee of the Finance, Tax, and Customs Policy Committee. However, a huge amount of time was spent on the discussion. Thus, postal operators, express carriers, and customs authorities were unequivocally against the proposal to present the recipient and keep the registration number of the taxpayer’s registration number due to the impossibility of its implementation and inconsistency with the technological and technical realities of maintaining such a database.
Moreover, the national postal operators in the world and Europe do not practice entering such information in the register, as it is a significant violation of citizens’ rights. Only the countries of the Eurasian Union (Russia, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Belarus) have introduced such a practice. Therefore, given the pro-European course of Ukraine’s development, it would be expedient to use the experience of civilized countries in matters of forwarding and delivery of international postal and express shipments.
Thus, the business is greatly concerned about the obtainment and storage of the taxpayer’s registration number, and the passport number and series by operators in post offices and customs authorities.
Such initiatives are sensitive and may violate the right of citizens to the protection of personal data, restrict their rights and freedoms. They require careful study and discussion by the general public and business. Such changes require a long period of time to implement and adapt the transmission of such information to regulatory authorities. It also requires additional financial costs for both the business and regulators. Therefore, the European Business Association calls on the Verkhovna Rada not to vote on this amendment, but instead, have a negotiation with the business!
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